Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back to Training

After returning home from the Angel Fire Mountain States Cup at the end of May I knew I had a solid 2 weeks to get prepared for my next high altitude adventure, the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, CO. This meant lots of big hours and hard intervals over the past week and this week some resting with some short efforts to keep the legs fresh.

On most of my training rides I end up heading up towards Ward, CO in some form or fashion. Ward is a popular destination for the Boulder cycling community as it sits atop a solid 16 mile climb from the base of the Foothills. Living with a fairly close proximity to Left Hand Canyon (the route to Ward) I often spend my time riding in that general direction during training rides. Fortunately for me there are a number of four wheel drive roads and trails that enter and exit through Left Hand Canyon and James Creek Canyon adding to much excitement in my everyday training routine.

One of my more recent discovery's was Rowena Road. I've often noticed it on my map of the area and seen it quite often on my way up the canyon but never really took much note of it as I was not sure what it was (it's not posted on the road). Recently I took a venture and explored a little, discovering what is more of a trail than a road that takes you from Left Hand Canyon Drive to Sunshine Canyon Drive, what a great connecting route for all kinds of mountain exploring in the Boulder foothills!

In addition to using Rowena Rd often to traverse the mountains I have also begun to move higher into the mountains again, as the snow is quickly melting out of the high country, and start riding trails like the James Creek Trail. This trail is pretty much awesome. There is very little traffic on it so it is peaceful and winds it's way up the James Creek Canyon all the way to Gold Lake Resort. There are 2 solid hike a bike sections, one where the creek has invaded the trail and the other where the trail crosses the creek, however, they are absolutely worth it if one considers the connection they make. Once reaching Gold Lake you are only a few miles away from the Peak to Peak highway right above Ward, meaning you are only a few miles away from the Sourdough Trail, Brainard Lake Trails, Switzerland Trail, many dirt road connections to the trails in Nederland, and other trail connections to trails North of Ward. Hours of epic fun.

I am still waiting for the whole of the Sourdough Trail to melt out as much of it is above 10,000 ft and in the trees making for a long and slow thaw process, but once it does, the high country epic rides must continue.

Here are some photos so you may see some of the riding I have been doing lately:

The view down Rowena Rd about half way up:
My bike relaxing on a tree with some new riser bars. Loving the added width:

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